Shades of Grey: A Novel - Jasper Fforde
Wow.

I had zero idea what to think when I picked up Shades of Grey from the bookstore. When I say "no idea," I really mean not a fucking clue in the entire world; I didn't even read the blurb on the back. It had been recommended to me, that was all. I have never been so glad that I bought a random book, ever.

Edward Russett lives in a Dystopian future version of what was (possibly) our world. People do not see in full color anymore, and the social hierarchy has been established based on what colors you can see. Greys are the the bottom of this hierarchy and can see only shades of grey and are basically the servant class. This is followed by Reds who can only see shades of reds, Oranges who can only see shades of Orange, Yellows who can only see shades of yellow, followed by Greens, Blues, and finally topping at Purples. Usually people only socialize within their own color, unless one is trying to marry up color. The one exception to this rule is that people cannot marry people of a complimentary color. For example, Purples cannot marry Yellows. Eddie is sent, along with his father, a swatchman (a doctor who uses colors to heal), is sent to East Carmine because Eddie needs to learn humility by performing a chair census. Eddie gets a lot more than he bargained for when he starts asking questions and befriends a volatile Grey.

I'm officially in love. A dystopian satire with a color-hierarchy and a strong female character. I want more. More now, please? Oh I have to wait until the next book comes out sometime next year? I don't wannnnnnna wait.

I'm still mulling this over in my mind, but holy fucking Gods, what an amazing book. It was serious, and hilarious, and just brilliant. There is a spoon shortage, don'tcha know? Plus, it really brings "judging people by their color," to a whole new level.


This universe was so amazingly complete while still not answering every burning question. Is this our world or a parallel one? What was the Something That Happened all those years ago? Where did all the Previous go? Why did people's eyesight change? What's with the Defacting? How about Leapbacks, what are those? Why does more and more tech become illegal with every Leapback? What's going to happen in three years with the Leapback? Why do they still have "Leapback" technology; wouldn't that have come from the Previous.

I want more, dammit!